JERI DANSKY professionalorganizer

October 2009 Newsletter

Tip of the Month: Organizing Your Computer Files


How much thought do you give to your computer file names? Of course you know that meaningful file names are a good idea - but here are two other quick suggestions.


1. If you're going to put a date in your file name, use the format yyyy-mm-dd (or yyyymmdd, or yyyy_mm_dd). Then when you list your files, you'll see something like this sample from my own files:

  • Bernal 2009-02-11.pdf
  • Bernal 2009-02-17.pdf
  • Bernal 2009-03-31.pdf
  • Bernal 2009-07-13.pdf
  • Bernal 2009-09-02.pdf
  • Bernal 2009-10-21.pdf


Dr. Bernal is my dentist - yes, I did see him a lot this year - and these are the scans of my invoices from him. They are in a file called 2009 Medical. It's very nice to able to see them listed in chronological order.


In other cases, I only use the year and the month - but I still use the same format. For example, the folders for the magazine I edit are named like this:

  • CV 2008-08
  • CV 2008-09
  • CV 2008-10
  • CV 2008-11


2. Use special characters at the start of any file name or folder name you want to see at the top of the list when you open a directory or a folder. For example, I have a mail folder named @Calendar Support, which holds the messages about anything on my calendar. I like having this folder show up at the top of my mail folder list, like this:

  • @Calendar Support
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Organizing - Clients
  • Organizing - NAPO
  • Organizing - Vendors


(No, those aren't all my mail folders - that's an abbreviated list.)


I've also used a tilde (~) to put certain files at the top of my list. I've seen other people use a blank space. However, some special characters are illegal in file names, so be sure not to use one of those.



Organizing Product of the Month




This is the time of year when many wonderful calendars become available. I've featured many in my blog, but

to do list on green paper; includes call cat psychic

here's another one worth noting, from the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. The calendar is printed on recycled paper with soy ink. The RPVC of Madison, Wisconsin - which produces the calendar - says, "nearly every day lists important festivals, birthdays, and holidays from around the world."


Some of the sites selling the calendar online are Heart of Texas Peace Corps Association, Tennessee Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and West Cascade Peace Corps Association.



Organizing Quote of the Month:


If you have to dust it, you’d better love it.


-- Sara, On Simplicity



Recycling/Reuse Idea of the Month


Have some single gloves - because the partner was lost, chewed up by the dog, or whatever? You can send those single glves along to Glove Love in the U.K. where each one will be washed, paired with another glove of the same size (but not the same color), and sold for 5 pounds. [via Springwise]



Highlights From My Blog in September


There were 18 entries in my organizing and de-cluttering blog in September. Some of the most popular entries were:


You can sign up for free almost-daily e-mail updates from my blog; each time I make an update, you'll get a message. Look in the upper right-hand corner of the blog for subscription information.



My Little Twitter Tidbits


I'm using Twitter mostly for those tidbits of organizing-related stuff I find - little things that will never make their way into a newsletter or a blog post. I also use Twitter to announce new blog posts. Follow me, @JeriDansky, if you'd like.


For those who don't use Twitter, here are some of the things I've written lately, slightly edited for a non-Twitter environment:

  • Admiring Neil Gaiman's bookshelves. And this is just the downstairs library; there's an upstairs one, too.
  • "You can never get enough of what you don't really need." - April Benson, regarding compulsive shopping
  • Eying a very unusual piece of storage furniture:
  • Reading Jon Carroll, about cleaning out a parent's apartment; not an easy thing.
  • Reading Martha Stewart "I don’t have any inanimate possessions that I couldn’t live without."
  • Just finished watching ADD & Loving It. Terrific show - educational & funny, well worth the time & commercials.
  • Stumbled upon this dog-shaped "robotic recycling trash can." and


Newsletter Subscriptions


If you would like to get this newsletter e-mailed to you each month and have not yet subscribed, you can do so here.